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Famous 1967 Toyota 2000GT Has Shelby Name All Over It, Sells for $2.5 Million at Auction

Japanese classics don’t usually attract much interest at auctions, but a Toyota 2000GT sold at the Amelia Island event for $2.5 million. It thus became the most expensive Japanese car ever sold, thanks to its impressive history and Carroll Shelby’s involvement.
1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT 9 photos
Photo: Gooding & Co via Facebook
1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island1967 Toyota-Shelby 2000GT sold at Gooding & Co auction in Amelia Island
Toyota 200GT is widely appreciated as the first true Japanese sportscar. With only 351 units being built between 1967 and 1971, it is also a rare and precious collectible. One of them is truly special though, being basically the “1” in the 351-units batch of cars ever produced. Not only is it the VIN001, but it is also one of the only three examples modified by Shelby to compete in the C-production class racing of SCCA.

The history of Toyota 2000GT is quite interesting and we encourage you to read it through. We’ll touch on one more trivia before we move to the subject of this article, and this is the car’s appearance in the Bond movie “You Only Live Twice” starring Sean Connery and Japanese actress Akiko Wakabayashi. Two units of the 2000GT were used for the shootings and both had their roofs chopped off to accommodate Connery’s height. Only one of the cars survived, with the second one disappearing without a trace.

The car sold at the Amelia Island event is one of the two cars that actually saw racing action in the 1968 season. The third one was held in reserve and later was sent back to Japan. To prepare the 2000GT for the SCCA racing, Shelby engineers fitted the cars with dual megaphone exhausts, Girling brake calipers, adjustable KONI shock absorbers, a differential cooler, a modified oil pan, and special Halibrand magnesium wheels wearing Goodyear racing tires. Inside, the most noticeable difference is the Ferrari-styled gated shifter.

The Toyota-Shelby 2000GT underwent an extensive restoration in the ’90s and competed afterward in many classic cars racing events and exhibitions. When it went to Amelia Island it was expected to fetch anywhere between $2.75 million and $3.5 million at the auction. Instead, it only made $2,535,000, which might look like a disappointment. It is still the most expensive Japanese car ever sold, surpassing the first-ever production model of the fifth-generation Supra by more than $400,000.

The Toyota-Shelby 2000GT was the fourth on the Gooding & Company's auction leaderboard for the weekend in Amelia Island. The most expensive model was the 1937 Talbot-Lago T150, which sold for over $13,425,000.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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